Ever since ChatGPT went viral late last year, concerns about AI-powered technologies and tools taking over work currently done by humans have intensified.
As its popularity grew, the capabilities and potential of AI became increasingly clear and well-known to the public. Along with this, there is a debate about how tech can affect people’s careers.
And while experts say AI will undoubtedly impact jobs and at least partially automate them, they also point out that technological advances often create new roles.
So far it’s not clear how concerned workers really should be. And according to a new HSBC report, technological advances like the development of AI may not even be the biggest factor in future job losses.
Using data from the World Economic Forum’s “Jobs Report 2023,” HSBC notes that only four economic trends are expected to result in job displacement.
The most common factor companies expect to see job losses is slow economic growth.
In fact, just last month the World Bank said it expects the global economy to grow at a much slower pace than last year and is expected to grow by 2.1 percent for 2023, down from 3.1 percent last year.
“The challenges are clear – weak economic growth and a general slowdown in supply or demand means many firms expect to operate with fewer workers,” HSBC analysts said in the report.
“But it’s important to remember that not all changes in the economy mean fewer workers are expected,” he added. Companies expect more jobs to be created through, for example, the green transition and the use of environmental, social and governance (ESG) standards.
Tech’s Impact on Jobs
“Increased adoption of new technologies” is another pattern that companies expect to drive job creation — and AI is part of that. According to data from the World Economic Forum, more than 20 percent of companies expect AI to add jobs rather than replace them.
Only two tech-related factors are expected to make characters redundant: the emergence of both humanoid and non-humanoid robots.
“While AI gets most of the attention today, it’s worth fully considering the wide-ranging impact technologies can have on the labor market,” HSBC said.
Especially when it comes to technology, the impact of new developments can be far broader than simply replacing jobs.
HSBC added that “the question is whether we have enough workers and the right skills of workers to meet these new needs”.
Along with slower economic growth leading to job losses, HSBC pointed to supply shortages and rising costs for businesses, the rising cost of living for consumers and the ongoing impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
The findings come as inflation remains high at both the consumer and wholesale levels in many countries around the world, despite some signs that rising prices may be easing the pressure. The most recent US user and Producer price index reports came in lower than expected, with the consumer price index hitting its lowest level since March 2021 on an annual basis in June – but problems remain.